Over the past months we have closely been following Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen. Brad McQuaid has done a fantastic job of roping in old school MMO mechanics with a new twist and an exciting world for players. Pantheon heralds back to Brad’s success with Everquest, but it also break ground into a new future for MMORPGs.
With some solid ideas baked into the DNA of the game, we decided to list out our favorites in this week’s top five:
5. Playing with Friends
To be honest much of my MMO time is spent alone or waiting for the looking for group tool to pick me up. With Pantheon, gameplay with your friends or guild mates is encouraged. The team has designed the game so when you set forth on adventure you will want your friends around. Discovering an area or large monster will be very difficult to tackle alone. This idea will forge a strong community in the fires of adventure and while other MMOs taunt the idea of playing with friends, Pantheon truly rewards the experience.
4. Your Character Will Learn the Land
Instead of following icons over the heads of NPCs, you will actually be able to use your character to understand aspects of the environment and nature in the game. This is a fantastic idea. It re-opens the concept of exploring the world and brings the system into the player character. We really like the way Clerics can pray to find out information, or Wizards can sense certain types of mana. Having the characters themselves work through the exploration means a lot more than just following dots on a map. We’re really excited to see how this develops in the game. It has more of an adventurous feel than just bouncing around areas, you will have to fully explore instead.
3. A Variety of Races and Classes That Complement Each Other
When you start your journey it always takes time to choose your class and race. In Pantheon, all of the characters are not all of the things. You actually have a role and work to be the best at it. This breakdown of classes makes the game fun and adds to the group dynamics of the content. The Warrior or Ranger may be your cup of tea if you want to fight or use a bow. For casters, there are a load of options with Shaman, Wizards, or Enchanters. This type of mechanic does take you back to the old MMO days when your class mattered and your guild or group depended on you. Pantheon holds true to these old school ideas and brings them into this new game very well.
2. Abilities as Loot
The “Living Codex” of the game tracks your development as you go. If you are on a quest or deep in a dungeon, you may stumble upon some type of magic scroll or teacher hidden away in the depths. This is where you can unlock high abilities for your character. So downing that boss in a dungeon fight may yield more than just a magic sword. It may also have some great benefits to a wizard looking for a lost scroll. Being able to seek out high abilities makes combat and exploration much more important in the game. You are not just handed things on your character interface, you have to actually go out and find them. Once you fill in the blanks of your codex, you’ll have an arsenal of attacks which will make all the difference!
1. The Mana and Land System
Brad has talked about this in interviews. The environment of Pantheon is very important to the team. They are excited to have this element impact gameplay on a whole new level. Players will be forced to contend with the zones they travel too just as much as the NPCs who populate them. Some areas may enhance or burden the casting of certain spells. Others may boost certain class abilities. It really is a living world. The idea that different colors of mana will be stronger or weaker on the map makes for a fantastic puzzle system as casters try to figure it out. We cannot wait to see this system in action.